Anytime you're in London and not in a rush you should travel by bus. The tube is only occasionally fun when you're showing tourists that it's a 'great way to travel'. Other than that it's a love-hate relationship depending on your day. And you definitely don't get to see anything cool. You should come upstairs and see London by bus. You get to see how everything links together, you get some of the best views, and buses are significantly cheaper. This weekend I decided I wanted to go and check out Portobello Road...so I started by getting the bus to Kensington Palace. Which is something else, by the way. I loved it...if you're into more traditional architecture you probably won't but for me something about the sheer front and all the red brick made me go 'wow'.
We walked through Palace Green- where you aren't allowed to take photos as you are surrounded by huge, gated, toweing embassies all around you..with the outbuildings and beautiful flats with sculpted lawns. It's all very house of cards. We got to Notting Hill..and wandered through beautiful white buildings to get to Portobello Road.
It's a real mishmash of antiques, junk, crepe stands and art. It's a little overpriced and apparently not the rummagers paradise it once was, but it's amazing to wander and soak up the atmosphere. We disagreed on what we thought of it...I was expecting it to be grittier..more Bedknobs and Broomsticks and Mary Poppins with a real cockney undercurrant..and actually found it a bit chi-chi. Like a place for posh people to feel like they're part of something 'urban' without being urban at all. The Mr thought it was actually not as posh as he expected.. I think expecting because we were in Notting Hill it would all be entirely posh. I think we still need to see more of the posh bit!
Looking through all the different things was really good fun. Although we didn't buy anything, it's always lovely to have a look around at things like this. The restuarants and cafes are really quirky too. You can carry on all the way down Portobello Road to the arches of Ladbroke Grove where there's a distinctly afro-carribean vibe with street music.